Japanese retailers have been blogging about the upcoming Pokepark for Wii, but Nintendo Japan has been mum on the game…until now. Andriasang reported:
In Pokepark Wii, you take control of Pikachu and work through mini games with other Pokemon. After making friends with Pokemon through tag, battle, and quiz mini-games, you can cooperate with your new friends in more advanced events.
If you’ve been reading my stuff then you know that I’m a giant Pokemon nerd. While the game doesn’t sound as if it will offer the rich experience of the Pokemon role-playing games, I’m still psyched for it. Plus, it kind of mimics my real life in that you make friends “through tag, battle, and quiz mini-games”.
Anyone else down for some more Pokemon action on Wii?
Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, whether the Motorola Cliq will turn the company around, why the hell it’s raining in Los Angeles, or bellybutton lint, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
In Coffee Talk #2, reader rbee90 brought up the topic of game reviews, which led to a conversation about review scores. The discussion started to get interesting and reader RRODisHere suggested that I write about the topic in Coffee Talk. Well here it is!
I have a ton of problems with the way most — not all — game reviews work. Scoring is a huge pet peeve of mine. 100-point scales are just stupid. I’d love for someone to (intelligently) explain the one-point difference between a game that gets an 87 and one that gets an 88. Five-point scales — which I like a whole lot better — are a problem because of the way the business uses scores and how some consumers interpret them. Here’s a pro tip for you — three stars out of five is not the same as 60 percent. Yet that’s the way a three-out-of-five is treated by review aggregators (most of the time). What’s worse is that some publishers base royalties on aggregate review scores, which is completely unfair to developers.
Personally, I think there should only be three review scores — buy it, rent it, eff it, symbolized by thumbs up, thumbs in the middle, and a thumbs down (or Megan Fox’s thumbs). Isn’t purchasing, renting, or passing what it all comes down to anyway? I pushed for this system when I worked at GameSpy, but nobody was buying it. Oddly enough, my boss at GameSpy eventually went to Crispy Gamer, which uses a scale like the one I suggested. Anyway, the bottom line is that scores have become so important that the words behind them are often overlooked and sometimes ignored.
Then there’s the way some games are reviewed. Some publishers send code to reviewers days before they’re allowed to publish their reviews. For competitive reasons, everyone wants to get the review up the second the embargo lifts. This has the reviewer cramming a pint glass of gameplay into a shot glass of time. Another practice that bugs the hell out of me is when publishers have reviewers play the game off site. In these cases, a reviewer has to commute to a hotel suite or a conference room to play the game for a few days before writing the review. Again, the short amount of time introduces a problem, but it’s compounded by having to play the game in a completely unnatural setting. My issue here is that reviewers have to play games in a way that few consumers would. Do most people play 50-hour games in three days? Of course not. Do most people make daily commutes to play games in a conference room? No.
Okay, I’m getting angry about the whole deal. What I’d like to know from you is what you expect from game reviews. Do you like like 100-point scales or do you prefer five-star systems? What information is most important to you in a game review? Do you think that the unnatural way reviewers have to play games leads to an unnatural view of the game? Leave a comment and let me know (please)!
New information has been revealed on the unnamed character shown in the Final Fantasy XIIITGS 2009 trailer — ladies and gentlemen, I give you Oerba Yun Fang! Kotaku pieced together some information off of this Famitsu scan posted by FinalFantasy-XIII.net. The site’s Brian Ashcraft deduced:
Her name is Oerba Yun Fang — she’s a mysterious L’Cie lady with a nifty tattoo. Her summon is “The Dragon King”, Bahamut.
A few questions for you:
– What do you think of the Australian voices being used in FFXIII? One of my friends finds them disturbing and weird. Personally, I find it hot in that Olivia Newton John way.
– Any guesses as to what Bahamut’s gestalt mode will be? The whole concept of gestalt mode is bugging me and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned into a toilet bowl or something.
A German advocacy group has organized an event designed to get participants to bring their “killer games” to in order to dispose of them in a trash can.
Aktionsbündnis Amoklauf Winnenden, or Action Alliance (loosely translated), has setup the event for this Saturday, October 17 in front of the Stuttgart State Opera. One game tosser will win a signed jersey from the German national soccer team. No word on what will be done with the “donated” games, but presumably they will be smashed or discarded in some way.
I hate these kinds of protests. They’re stupid. Is the group holding a similar event so that people can trash their violent DVDs en masse? I thought it was lame when people protested The Beatles and The Dixie Chicks with mass album burnings or silly gatherings to destroy CDs. On a side note, I think it’s funny that the above quote says “game tosser”. That sounds like a phrase British gamers would use over Xbox Live.
The last two characters from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom for Nintendo Wii have been revealed by IGN: Gatchaman’s Joe the Condor and Megaman’s Zero. Fans of the Battle of the Planets (G-Force) cartoon will remember Joe as Jason. Gamers will recognize Zero from Megaman X and various Megaman portable games.
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is one of the Wii games I’m looking forward to the most. While I’m pretty ambivalent on Zero, I’m totally psyched that Joe the Condor is in the game.
Are any of you looking forward to this title? What characters are you digging?
Continuing today’s console chip rumor-fest (a technical term) it looks like Nintendo’s successor to the DS will be using an Nvidia Tegra chip. According to Develop:
Anonymous sources said to be close to the matter insist that the new Nintendo handheld — apparently set to be revealed late in 2010 — will be powered by Nvidia’s system-on-a-chip device, known as Tegra.
Tegra is an ARM-based processor with integrated Geforce graphics, and has been developed by Nvidia for use in smartphones and other mobile devices such as Microsoft’s Zune HD.
Tegra devices are starting to pop up in the personal music player (PMP) space and phones using the chip will be out shortly. While Nvidia is struggling in several other areas, it has a great chance at succeeding in the mobile market. Getting Tegra into a Nintendo handheld would be a tremendous win for Nvidia.
The move could also put Sony in a tough position. Tegra is a capable chip with a fairly low cost. Judging from Nintendo’s history, its next handheld system should have an accessible price. While I doubt (or at least hope) the PSPgo will not cost $249 next year, a new Nintendo portable will put the Go in a tough spot.
Incidentally, what features do you want to see in Nintendo’s next handheld system?
The word on the street is that the Microsoft’s next Xbox console will be powered by an ATI GPU from AMD. According to Fudzilla:
We’ve learned from industry sources that AMD / ATI has already won the GPU deal for the next generation Xbox console. It looks like Microsoft was happy with first Xeons GPU and it wants to continue using the same, especially since the new ATI GPU should keep the compatibility with legacy games.
The move isn’t exactly surprising. Rival GPU manufacturer Nvidia has been struggling lately and Microsoft seems keen on using backwards compatibility as one of its key differentiators. Vulcan logic would dictate Microsoft going with AMD/ATI once more.
Street Fighter IV’s Abel is a brawny and burly character, but apparently that wasn’t the original vision for him. At first, Abel was supposed to be a scrawny French judo master that looked like a girl. Andriasang translated Capcom battle planner Taisaku Okada from the Street Fighter IV blog:
With Abel, we wanted to make someone representative of ‘the weak can beat the strong,’ and so he was originally a small judo character who could be mistaken for a girl.
I know a lot of SFIV players that dig Abel, but I have to wonder if they’d still be into the character if he were a puny girlie man.